‘Schismatic #1:’ Comic Book Review

My editor paused in her continuous river of criticism and rage and sent me something unheard of.  It wasn’t praise (Let’s not get crazy.), it was a request that I review a piece of work . . . by the creator!  Now, this could mean one of 2 things:

1) My reviews are too nice, so everyone wants me to review stuff, because they know it’ll be good; or
2) My writing is inspirational,my perceptive wit is illuminating, and I’m very very handsome.

Turns out it’s #2.  So, here goes – my review of Schismatic, a new, Kickstarter-born comic by none other than Rachel Briner and Andrew Adams.  These folks are relative newcomers to the world, without the pedigree and gravitas of the usual 30-year comic veteran that we might usually see.  This is a good thing.  Their new comic brings forth some interesting ideas and concepts and does a very nice job of transporting us into their novel, dystopian world.  In short, this comic is a little bit disruptive to the tired, rote stories that can sometimes be our only choice in comic books.

What’s it all about?  I’ll tell you – and will do my best to limit spoilers.  Also, I’ll be making some guesses about what it all might mean, as first issues tend to be a little short on detail.

It might be Earth – but if it’s not, our story takes place on some Earth-like planet.  The natural cataclysm of volcanoes, earthquakes, and disaster NOS (not otherwise specified) has resulted in lots of dead people.  At this point, a Cthulu-like god pops up and start killing survivors.  Society (what’s left of it) forms into two groups: worshippers of the bad guy, and worshippers of a good “guy,” who is possibly non-existent.

Fast forward to a nice, loving family with 2 kids.  An interaction with the forces of bad, a family torn asunder (kids go one way, parents another).  Broken innocence, a possible path to the dark side . . . and we’ll see what happens in the next installment.

As with all great ideas, this comic “borrows” from all kinds of existing works.  I noted Star Wars, Matrix, Dune, Cthulu, and Day After Tomorrow. (Okay, this one is a stretch, and it sucked, so not really Day After Tomorrow.)  Those are some pretty powerful influences (except DAT, which I was kidding about), and the derivative comic is worth looking at.

The problem with this comic is significant.  It’s a Kickstarter comic, and I really (really) want to know what will happen next.  Kickstarter comics need your support. The problem is sometimes you don’t give enough.

The writing is compelling, if, at times, a little bit forced.  This actually worked nicely, as it implied that we were glimpsing a foreign society which communicates differently.  The art is off the hook.  Seriously, aspiring artists might want to check this comic out, as cover-quality panels riddle this book.

Should you buy it?  Nope.  You should give them $$ on Kickstarter.  A lot of it. For me.  So I can read the next one.

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